Equality Act Codes of Practice
The Equality Act is the most significant piece of equality legislation for many years. It simplifies, streamlines and strengthens the law. It gives individuals greater protection from unfair discrimination and makes it easier for employers and companies to understand their responsibilities. It also sets a new standard for those who provide public services to treat everyone, with dignity and respect.
In line with our statutory powers, we have produced Codes of Practice on Employment, Services and Equal Pay. The main purpose of the Codes of Practice is to provide detailed explanations of the provisions in the Act and to apply legal concepts in the Act to everyday situations. This will assist courts and tribunals when interpreting the law and help lawyers, advisers, trades union representatives, human resources departments and others who need to apply the law. As with the Act, the Codes apply to England, Scotland and Wales.
The Codes set out clearly and precisely what the legislation means. They draw on precedent and case law and explain the implications of every clause in technical terms. These statutory codes are the authoritative source of advice for anyone who wants a rigorous analysis of the legislation's detail. For lawyers, advocates and human resources experts in particular, they will be invaluable.
These Codes of Practice became law on 6 April 2011.
You can purchase printed copies of the Codes from The Stationery Office (TSO) website or download on this page.
Download: Code of Practice on Equal Pay (PDF version)
Download: Code of Practice on Equal Pay (Word version)
Code of Practice on Employment
Please note that the Employment Code does not provide guidance on the positive action provision in relation to recruitment and promotion (section 159 of the Act) or the repeal of the default retirement age (Schedule 9 exceptions to discrimination in employment) which come into force on 6 April 2011. The Code will be amended in due course to provide guidance on these provisions. Please refer to our non-statutory guidance on employment for assistance on these issues in the interim.
Download: Code of Practice on Employment (PDF version)
Download: Code of Practice on Employment (Word version)
Code of Practice on Services, Public Functions and Associations
Our post consultation report highlights the concerns that stakeholders raised with us during the Equality Act Codes of Practice consultation period in 2010. The report explains how we addressed these concerns and how this stakeholder input has ultimately improved the final version of these Codes.
The Commission is continuing to develop a range of guidance based on the Equality Act 2010 to support our stakeholders, and make it easier for them to make informed decisions about the Act. A key element of this guidance is the suite of statutory codes of practice, which explain the statutory provisions of the Equality Act 2010.
We had originally planned to produce statutory codes of practice on the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), which came into force on 5 April 2011, and for statutory codes of practice for Schools and the Further and Higher Education (FEHE) sector. In the light of the Government's position not to lay codes before Parliament, the Commission has decided for now to produce the original text of these codes as technical guidance.
Technical guidance is a non-statutory version of a code, however it will still provide a formal, authoritative, and comprehensive legal interpretation of the PSED and education sections of the Act. It will also clarify the requirements of the legislation.
Schools and education authorities have had a duty to provide reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils since 2002 (originally under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (the DDA) and, from October 2010, under the Equality Act 2010). From 1 September 2012 the reasonable adjustments duty for schools and education authorities includes a duty to provide auxiliary aids and services for disabled pupils.
This guide will help school leaders and education authorities understand and comply with the reasonable adjustments duty, including the new auxiliary aids and services provision. It will also help disabled pupils and their parents understand the duty.
The focus of this guide is on the practical implementation of the reasonable adjustments duty in schools. It includes practical case studies showing how the duty can be applied in contexts which will be familiar to teachers.
This FEHE Technical Guidance sets out Equality Act 2010 requirements on further and higher education providers in relation to provision of education and access to benefits, facilities or services. These cover all of the services, facilities and benefits, both educational and non-educational that an education provider provides or offers to provide for students.
This Technical Guidance applies to England, Scotland and Wales. However, education provided outside Great Britain may be covered by the Act.
Our post consultation report highlights the concerns that stakeholders raised with us during the FEHE guidance consultation period. The report explains how we addressed these concerns and how this stakeholder input has ultimately improved the final version.
Former Equality Commissions
The former equality commissions had power to issue Codes of Practice containing practical guidance on matters such as promoting equality of opportunity and eliminating discrimination in their relevant fields.
The process of drafting new Codes of Practice for the Equality Act 2010 has started. Some of the codes have been laid before Parliament.
The following Codes of Practice were issued by the legacy Commissions, (Disability Rights Commission, Commission for Racial Equality and Equal Opportunities Commission) and have now been replaced. Find out about the Equality Act Codes of Practice.
However, we are aware some of these documents may still be of value to individuals or organisations for historical purposes or because they contain a wide range of examples.
We have therefore included a list of documents (below) and if you need a PDF or word copy of any of the documents, please contact us at EngagementDesk@equalityhumanrights.com with any such requests.
- Code of Practice - Sex Discrimination
- Code of Practice on Equal Pay
- Gender Equality Duty - Code of Practice for England and Wales
- Gender Equality Duty- Code of Practice for Scotland
- Statutory Code of Practice on racial equality in employment
- Statutory Code of Practice on the Duty to Promote Race Equality
- Statutory Code of Practice on the Duty to Promote Race Equality in Scotland
- Statutory Code of Practice on Racial Equality in Housing: Scotland
- Statutory Code of Practice on Racial Equality in Housing: England
- Statutory Code of Practice on Racial Equality in Housing: Wales
- The Duty to Promote Disability Equality: Statutory Code of Practice: England and Wales
- The Duty to Promote Disability Equality: Statutory Code of Practice: Scotland
- Code of Practice: Employment and Occupation
- Code of Practice: Rights of Access: services to the public, public authority functions, private clubs and premises
The following are codes issued prior to the introduction of the Equality Act 2010. We are still providing access to these old codes but would ask you to bear in mind that they do not set out clearly and precisely the requirements under the Equality Act 2010 although they may be of assistance in providing guidance where the law has not changed substantially.
- Code of Practice: Trade Organisations and Qualifications Bodies DRC (PDF)
- Revised Code of Practice: Trade Organisations, Qualifications Bodies and General Qualifications Bodies DDA (PDF)
- Code of Practice for Schools - DDA (PDF)
- Code of Practice (revised) for providers of post-16 education and related services (DDA) (PDF)
- Code of Practice Provision and use of transport vehicles DDA (PDF)
The following guidance has been updated:
Last Updated: 04 Sep 2015